The last year and a half have taught us that the world can experience a tremendous change in a short time. Whether it’s rapid technological advancements, cyberattacks, stalling economies, or even a global pandemic, only resilient organizations can weather these storms.
That’s why the concept of organizational resilience is now more relevant than ever before. Organizational resilience is all about how well a company anticipates, plans for, and responds to gradual change and unexpected disruptions in its business environment so that it can continue to operate and thrive.
Organizations and individuals that discovered meaningful ways to practice resilience in the face of change, from remote and hybrid working to digital acceleration, proved to have an enormous strategic advantage. Cultivate a resilient culture so that you aren’t caught off guard when disruptions occur.
Remember, if your people, processes, and technologies aren’t resilient, your business will have a tough time recovering from setbacks such as downtime-induced financial loss as well as dissatisfied employees.
What Does a Resilient Organization Look Like?
Organizations that recover quickly from setbacks typically do the following:
Create an environment for innovation
An organization’s employees are among its most valuable assets. You can encourage innovation among your employees by creating a work culture that supports creative thinking and effective communication. This will empower them to contribute their knowledge, abilities and suggestions.
An innovative work culture ensures that everyone in the company works towards improving business practices, productivity and overall resilience. An innovative organization can quickly come up with multiple strategies to deal with a crisis.
Adapt to meet changing customer needs
Consumer demands and behavior are influenced by global events. With that in mind, if a customer-focused company wants to survive and prepare for the future, it must understand and adapt to changes.
Asking these three questions will provide organizations with perspective:
- What are our customers’ behaviors?
- Why do our customers behave that way?
- What do we need to alter to cater to a new set of demands and behaviors?
Overcome reputational and organizational setbacks
Almost every firm will face reputational or organizational setbacks at some point during its life span. Some businesses may crumble as a result of their inability to prepare for and recover from change and challenges. However, the resilient ones will do everything in their power to identify the source of the setback, rectify the damage caused and make communication with stakeholders transparent.
Rise to the challenge
While it’s impossible to control what challenges your business encounters, you can certainly control how you deal with them. A resilient organization will be better equipped to stand firm in the face of severe adversity and will have the means to recover as quickly as possible.
Tactics of Resilient Organizations
Prioritize the following tactics to nurture a resilient organization:
Proactive cybersecurity planning
This may require implementing guidelines from The International Standards Organization (ISO), The British Standards Institute (BSI) or the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Cyber Security Framework, depending on your industry and location.
Protection of intellectual property (IP)
This is more of a legal and operational task and includes having the right employee, contractor, and partnership agreements in place to avoid critical organizational IP from being disclosed.
Implementation of uptime safeguards
This requires being able to restore service via automatic failover or backup and recovery.
Contingency plan mapping
Build a business continuity and disaster recovery plan that lays out contingency plans for events like downtime, evacuations and so on, in order to be prepared for tricky situations.